When we play early music (composed approximately up until 1800s) on the organ or on any other keyboard instrument, the general articulation is articulate legato or the Ordinary Touch as it was called in some treatises back in the day. Some people take it to the extreme and begin to play more like non legato. The result is not quite what they would want but sometimes they don't know what the problem is.
It turns out that too detached articulation makes a negative impact on the flow of music. The piece begins to sound as if we play counting from beat to beat or worse, from note to note.
There is one way to find an ideal articulate legato (even in the middle voices) which Dr. George Ritchie talks about in his Organ Technique method book - play a passage of music using one finger only (2 or 3) of either hand but as connected as possible. In other words, try to play legato with one finger.
It's not glissando, though. Bach would call it the Cantabile (singing) style of playing. When you listen to this passage, repeat it using a normal fingering but keeping the same style of articulation.
Another way to find an ideal articulation is this: when you play a passage, aim to connect it into a musical idea, not separate notes, but really a passage which lead somewhere. Most of the time, it leads to cadence.
So you can find the closest cadence and as you play the passage, your mind should concentrate on that cadence and don't allow you to make any stops in the flow before it.
The third way is this: think about the pulse and the beats in the measure. Make stronger beats longer and weaker beats - shorter. The side effect of this method would be gentle accents on most important beats and they actually will sound louder.
If you apply the above 3 tips in your practice, not only your articulation will be much more Cantabile, but also there would be a flow of music in your performance. It wouldn't be boring to listen to. This kind of playing would fix the attention of your listeners to your performance (provided if you use the Ordinary Touch in all the voices).
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Drs. Vidas Pinkevicius and Ausra Motuzaite-Pinkeviciene
Organists of Vilnius University , creators of Secrets of Organ Playing.
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Don't have an organ at home?
Download paper manuals and pedals, print them out, cut the white spaces, tape the sheets together and you'll be ready to practice anywhere where is a desk and floor. Make sure you have a higher chair.